Wake Up Call


This won’t make me any friends, but I’ll say it anyway. I’ll defer to George Patton’s wisdom and have at it. More


Tactical Training Is Silly


How often in a real fight are any of the popularly-espoused, school-taught tactics employed? Review various fights caught on video and note how often the solution was (or ideally would have been) to present a firearm and land quick hits with the only additional necessary tactic being a little bob and weave.

Some examples:

From a vehicle:

At a store:

IPSC shooter working security:


At another store:



Police officer:


In front of an elevator:

While not common, shootings do happen to good people sometimes. When they do, those people often have zero formal tactical instruction from popular classes.

The successful ones respond simply: Draw and land hits as quickly as possible, usually with little else needed. You’d be hard pressed to find a video of a successful defensive shooting where the defender used any of the techniques popularly taught at various schools.

Many of the most feared gunfighters of the 20th century used tactics and techniques that would be considered passé today. A surprisingly large number of them were involved in competition emphasizing static slow fire (Bullseye, PPC, etc.) that doesn’t test the timed movement, gun handling, and rapid-fire shooting on multiple targets found in practical competition. But they fought successfully many times. If they were still in service and in their prime, they’d probably fight quite well today as well.

Tactically Inconsistent


Tiger McKee believes that practicing a malfunction/stoppage response must be done enough so that “getting the weapon running again, must be immediate.”

For example, when you press the trigger in real life – live fire practice and especially during a confrontation – and you get a click instead of a bang it means you have a malfunction. The response to this, clearing the stoppage and getting the weapon running again, must be immediate. In a fight time is a precious commodity. There is no time to stop, think or assess the problem and then correct it.

– Tiger McKee

In videos discussing his approach on “advanced skills”, Pincus states today’s guns are so reliable that skills required to clear malfunctions are among these and do not need to be emphasized or practiced regularly. He goes on to say that if one’s gun malfunctions, one should simply change the gun.

Malfunctions are not a fundamental defensive shooting skill…. Clearing a malfunction is an ‘advanced skill’.”

– Rob Pincus

Once again, two popular defensive shooting instructors (neither one with actual fight experience) have completely opposite approaches on a defensive shooting issue.

Where facts are few, experts are many.

– Donald R. Gannon

Gunfight Rules

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“There ain’t no rules in a gunfight!”

That is a popular lead-in from low-level novice shooters justifying why they cower from competitive shooting. As with their other excuses, this one is also plain wrong. Yes, there are rules in a gunfight.

Rules of Engagement (ROE) are rules or directives to military forces (including individuals) that define the circumstances, conditions, degree, and manner in which the use of force, or actions which might be construed as provocative, may be applied. They provide authorization for and/or limits on, among other things, the use of force and the employment of certain specific capabilities. In some nations, ROE have the status of guidance to military forces, while in other nations, ROE are lawful commands. Rules of Engagement do not normally dictate how a result is to be achieved but will indicate what measures may be unacceptable.

The current Law of Land Warfare has also been with us for over a century.

A list of the treaties relating to the conduct of land warfare which have been ratified by the United States, with the abbreviated titles used in this Manual, is set forth in the abbreviations section of this manual. The official English texts or a translation of the principal treaty provisions are quoted verbatim in bold type in the relevant paragraphs throughout the Manual. It should be noted, however, that the official text of the Hague Conventions of 18 October 1907 is the French text which must be accepted as controlling in the event of a dispute as to the meaning of any provision of these particular conventions.


These types of gunfight rules also apply to law enforcement and other civilian encounters.

A use of force continuum is a standard that provides law enforcement officers and civilians with guidelines as to how much force may be used against a resisting subject in a given situation. In some ways, it is similar to the U.S. military’s escalation of force (EOF). The purpose of these models is to clarify, both for law enforcement officers and civilians, the complex subject of use of force. They are often central parts of law enforcement agencies’ use of force policies.

Oh, and I hear tactical timmy in the back scoffing. There are always the laws of physics at hand as well. Despite the various lies you may soothe your ego with, the physical laws at play to get a launched projectile to impact a given target on purpose in a timely manner apply identically on the range as they do in the field.

I guess there are rules in a gunfight afterall!

The Problem With Timmies

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From Nicholas M. Y.
USPSA A77838

Misplaced Tactical Training


Why do some competition-focused shooters make fun of tactical training, force-on-force or shoot-house exercises?

Problems with competitive shooters teaching combat shooting


Gun owners with an interest (or a claimed interest) in real-world firearm usage make the claim that this is a “problem.”

Here is an example:

The Problems with competitive shooters teaching combat shooting
They tend to teach what they know which are the techniques used to be successful in shooting matches. Many of these techniques are ill advised for use in the street. Nevertheless these techniques are copied and followed by others because they are used by competitive shooters to win cups and titles. When considered away from the emotion of a prestigious shooting event, the idea that combat shooters would emulate competition shooters almost sounds silly. We have written an entire article on the differences between training for combat and training for shooting matches.

Ah, the magical differences. The author of that little bit is a staunch Modern Technique advocate and has instructed at Gunsite. The irony here is clearly lost on him.

The Modern Technique, the very notion of private sector shooting instruction, and most of what is taught at Gunsite (previously called American Pistol Institute) was born out of organizing competition experience into a curriculum for paying customers. The stance was named after Jack Weaver who developed his approach to shooting solely as a way to win the Leatherslap contests Cooper organized. The widespread adoption of eye-level, two-handed pistol shooting came about after point shooting failed to deliver promised results and an upstart using something else started winning. Jack Weaver’s technique proved successful in shooting matches and that was his only initial motivation for doing it. His technique was copied and followed by others because it was used by a competitive shooter to win cups and titles.

Don’t take my word for it. Here it is from the man himself:

As competitions continued to be held, the methods and approaches of the winners were learned and codified. Weaver’s approach won so often other competitors copied him. Back when police and military instruction advocated single loading a revolver or pistol magazine with loose cartridges as a viable combat method, Ray Chapman realized a second, pre-filled magazine slammed home quick was much faster (PPC competitors soon improved this for revolver shooters with the speed loader well before it was widely adopted by police and defensive shooters.) Tuned 1911 pistols with competition-specific modifications not found on issued carry guns continually won the day.

Here are a couple videos from Gunsite classes posted on their official Facebook page. Looks very similar to any number of practical shooting matches I’ve attended. Please explain how doing this at Gunsite is a great way to learn proper real-world firearm use but doing the exact same thing at a match is ill advised for use in the street.

If that’s not enough, here are more examples of realistic training offered at Gunsite.


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